WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has selected University Corporate Park of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., to build a new mental health clinic for Veterans in Tampa, Fla.
“This new facility will ensure that Florida’s Veterans continue to have access to high-quality medical care that they’ve earned through their service to our Nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
The facility will be located at 10770 N. 46th Street in Building E. The project, which will create 13 construction jobs, will be completed in the summer of 2013.
The contract calls for a 22,300-square-foot, one-story building, with 154 parking spaces. VA will pay an annual rent of nearly $600,000 under the 10-year contract. Mental health services are now provided at another leased facility adjacent to the James A. Haley VA Hospital.
The clinic, which will be located five miles from the Haley VA facility, will provide services for nearly 148,000 Veterans in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Polk counties.
In the last three years, VA has devoted more people, programs, and resources toward mental health services to serve the growing number of Veterans seeking mental health care from VA. The department is a pioneer in mental health research, high-quality, evidence-based treatment and access to care. VA has many entry points to care through the use of Vet Centers, the Veterans Crisis Line, and integration of mental health services in the primary care setting. Since 2007, VA has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of Veterans receiving mental health services, and a 41 percent increase in mental health staff.
In April, Secretary Shinseki announced VA would add approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians – to include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers – as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff as part of an ongoing review of mental health operations.